Friday, 26 May 2017

AAA Tour - Day 4 - Warrumbungles to Warren

The Warrumbungles from the south
at Tooraweenah
For years, we have dreamed of the day when we could take holidays with a minimum of planning but for those same years, it has proved elusive. When we were both working for the Education Man, holidays were frequent but structured to set dates. Even when we took long service leave, it all had to start and finish at a designated time and we had to fit as much into the space between.

This all leads to agendas and schedules and when Sue retired, we figured we wouldn't do that anymore ... except we have. For the AAA Tour, we are trying to change and so far, as hard as it has been to adjust, change is happening.

We left home on Tuesday and thought we'd be in Broken Hill by now. Instead, we are in Warren, after staying at the Warrumbungles for three nights to unwind before going on. Today, we set out for Cobar and got half way ... or perhaps we got far enough!

Travelling west from the 'Bungles, we soon took a turn to the south bound for Tooraweenah. It provides a view of what John Oxley called the Arbuthnot Range after a mate of his; a name that didn't stick when it was renamed the Warrumbungle Range, from the local Gomeroi word for crooked mountains. From the turn south, all the way to a specially constructed viewing platform just to the south of Tooraweenah, you are afforded a view most miss of these spectacular mountains and the peaks of the southern section of the Park, which are hidden from within the normal visiting areas of the park, are revealed.

It was plain sailing all the way to Gilgandra, where we almost stopped for fuel but got lost, so it was on to Warren. Thanks to an early start, we arrive at Warren at about 11:30am and refueled and that should have been about it. While I was topping up the tank, Sue had discovered there was a wetlands with a walking trail and the promise of non stop feathered action. It also had a new cafe in a refurbished old church. I bit.

The Kookaburra Kiosk Cafe was a delight and we sat on the new deck and enjoyed tea and treats and a lively conversation with the manager, who is employed by some sort of co-operative. She explained it but it was complicated. We had a good old chin wag until further customers cramped our style and took her from us.

The Tiger Bay Wetlands opened in 1988 but only six years ago, they were expanded by 200% under the guidance of the Warren Shire Council. Its a far-sighted decision of environmental tourism, the like of which local government are not usually famous for expediting. Its a lovely place and we enjoyed the walk around and through the wetlands, spotting some expected residents - ducks and morhens and wagtails - but also saw a capped robin for the first time (we looked it up in my handy Aussie bird app). Such an unexpected pleasure.

As a result, we decided to stay the night and booked into the Macquarie Caravan Park. Its small but tidy and despite the amenities being a little long in the tooth, there is not a tile out of place and they are sparkling clean. The owners are very friendly.

So after unhitching the car, we went into town.

First stop was the information centre but it was closed, probably because there is a CWA conference down in Dubbo! We had a bit of time, so went for a short ramble until I found a coffee shop, so naturally, had to stop. We spend the next hour there talking with the staff, passers by and Leanne, the lady who runs the shop next door. In the midst of asking her for some information about a walking tour of the town and supporting pamphlet, Ashley, the General Manager of Warren Shire Council walked past and overheard Sue say she had missed out on the pamphlet because the Tourist Information Centre was closed. He invited Sue into the Council Chambers and up to his office, where he proceeded to print the pamphlet for her and get office staff to provide other information about Warren. He even asked Sue's opinion on some upcoming promotions for the town. Amazing!

Eventually we went for some groceries and into the happiest, friendliest supermarket I've ever been in. I took the time to compliment the manager.
Click to view today's photos

Either we were lucky to meet the right people or this is one of the friendliest towns I've ever visited. Either way, we've decided to stay for a few days and enjoy their welcome.

PS Ashley assured Sue the Tourist Information Centre would be open between 10:00 and 1:00 tomorrow and by assured, Sue assumed he meant he would personally make sure it was.

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